Murder on the beach: British-backed wars helped create Tunisian killer

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 3 July 2018   Three years ago on 26 June, a 23-year-old Tunisian armed with a machine gun mowed down 38 tourists at a beach hotel in the resort of Port El Kantaoui. Thirty British tourists were among the dead in the worst attack on Britons since […]

Britain needs a full public inquiry into the Libya war

Published in Middle East Eye, 14 June 2018 by Mark Curtis   Seven years on from the British-led NATO war in Libya in 2011 to remove leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country remains riddled with conflict and lacks effective governance. And one year on from terrorist attacks in the UK whose perpetrators are linked to that […]

The raw truth about the UK’s special relationship with Israel

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 5 June 2018   Britain has a special relationship with Israel that is little recognised in the mainstream media but unmissable in light of the killings in Gaza. With more than 110 protesters dead, Britain is in effect defending Israeli actions. The British government has not, as […]

Treasury paper for the Future Policy project, ‘Economic strength’, July 1959

Paper is an assessment of the relative strengths of the powers. “The UK [sic] influence and capacity for independent action has been greatly weakened in the last decade by the repeated sterling crises: if the UK could maintain a strong external financial position that would much improve its relative position within the West… UK is […]

J.Downie, Treasury official to R.Clarke, Permanent Under Secretary, Treasury, 3 July 1959

“I suppose that the ultimate policy aim (to put it rather grandiloquently) is to conduct our affairs so as to maximise the capacity of the United Kingdom to influence the course of world history in a way satisfactory to us. At least, I take this to be the object for any country with pretensions to […]

Joint paper by the FCO and Treasury for the Working group for the Future Policy study, ‘Developments in Western Europe’, 12 August 1959

“If the EEC developed effectively as one unit, it could readily by the early 1970s be an economic (and political) unit of the same general order of magnitude in population and gross national products as the United States in the mid 1950s… Such a consolidation of West European resources would represent a major change in […]

PUS’s Planning Committee: ‘Comments received from posts on paper entitled “Sources and means of influence in the modern world’”, 4 December 1968

Notes that a paper was circulated to posts in August. “Several comments emphasised that, as our power to intervene militarily in various parts of the world was reduced, the importance of our non-military effort overseas particularly such aspects as information work and diplomatic persuasion would significantly increase”. Paper then notes seven proposals on aid. “(i) […]

Denis Allen, Permanent Under Secretary, FCO, to all heads of post, 16 August 1968

Encloses a paper which “attempts to expand the Secretary of State’s thoughts on the sources and means of influence in the modern world”, whose contents “have been generally approved”. Paper: “Sources and means of influence in the modern world”, July 1968 “It is this distribution of our economic interests, deriving in many cases from our […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Steering Committee, Review Committee on Overseas Representation: The basic assumptions, 14 October 1968

Foreign Office paper endorsed by the Foreign Secretary and circulated for information. “The basic aims of our overseas policy are peace, prosperity and freedom for Britain. They are not divisible. International instability prejudices our prosperity as well as our freedom… The scene for the conduct of external policy has been revolutionised not only by sophisticated […]

FCO, UN Department Paper, ‘The New International Economic Order’, January 1975

“The aspect of the New International Order [sic] which has attracted most attention is the altered distribution of economic power, as exemplified with particular prominence by…OPEC… The so-called ‘new international economic order’ is, in fact, a set of demands by developing countries for control of their own natural resources, transfer of resources to them by […]